Nepaug Bible Church - http://www.nepaugchurch.org - Pastor's Prayer Meeting Lesson Notes - http://www.nepaugchurch.org/pm/pm19980624.htm
LUKE: GOSPEL OF CERTIFYING THE CHRISTIAN FAITH
Part XLII: The Credibility Of Christianiy Seen In The Illogical Route Its Opponents Often Take To Reject It
Lesson: (1) One of the great evidences of the Christian faith is its adherence to LOGICAL reasoning, (2) and another great evidence is the path of ILLOGIC its opponents often must take to reject it. (3) God expects us to watch how we perceive, that we protect the LOGIC in our VIEW in observing the evidences around us that inevitably lead us to God's truth, cf. Rom. 1:18-20.
- According to 1 Corinthians 15:1-11, for one to receive eternal life, he must accept as true by faith Christ's death, burial and bodily resurrection. That takes faith in an event that violates all we know of natural laws, something that opponents of the faith have used to try undermining the credibility of Christianity.
- However, examining the illogical reasoning frequently used in rejecting it reveals evidence of Christianity's credibility. Such is the case in the events recorded in Luke 11:14-36:
- The Credibility Of Christianity Seen In The Illogical Route Its Detractors Often Take To Reject It.
- When Jesus exorcised a demon from a man who was mute so that the formerly mute possessed man was able to speak, a number of people marveled at Jesus' power and person, Luke 11:14.
- However, opponents brought up two negative responses to negate Jesus' credibility in spite of the miracle:
- Some concluded that Jesus was casting out demons by the chief of demons, Beelzebub, 11:15. The term, Beelzebub was the corrupted form of the original Philistine term, "Baal-Zebul", meaning "lord of the princes". Baal-Zebub, meaning "lord of the flies" bec ame the Hebrew peoples' derogatory reference to Satan, Bib. Know. Com., O.T., p. 538; Bib. Know. Com., N.T., p. 235.
- According to Luke 11:16, others tempted Jesus for a sign from heaven as they felt His exorcism was not proof enough of His credibility as God's Messenger and Messiah, Luke 11:16.
- In answer to these unbelievers, Jesus revealed the lack of logical consistency their responses revealed as a defense of His divine authority and mission, Luke 11:17-26, 27-36:
- First, Jesus revealed the illogic of his opponents in their concluding He used Satan's power, 11:17-26:
- For one thing, concluding that Jesus had used Satan's power to exorcise a demon was contradictory, for then Satan would be opposing himself and his kingdom would not stand, Luke 11:17-18.
- Also, since the Jews themselves had exorcists who respectfully cast out demons without being charged of doing so by Satan's power, for these Jewish witnesses to conclude that Jesus exorcised by Satan's power cast doubt on the spiritual credi bility of their own exorcists, 11:19! Thus, logic should have led Jesus' witnesses to conclude that the kingdom of God had come unto them, Luke 11:20.
- Besides, logic demands that Jesus cast out a demon simply because He was stronger than Satan, implying that He was indeed from God, the entity stronger than the Devil, Luke 11:21-23.
- Accordingly, the spiritual lot of that generation that rejected the credibility of Jesus in spite of seeing this exorcism would end up in terrible judgment, like that of a re-possessed person, Luke 11:24-26.
- Second, Jesus refused to provide another sign in view of such rebellion via illogical unbelief, 11:27-36:
- When a woman in the crowd at this encounter pronounced a blessing on His mother for nursing Him, Jesus used the event to uphold a blessing for those who would believe His Word, Luke 11:27-28. In the context, this admonition countered those who were still a sking for a miraculous sign from heaven in spite of their illogical rejection of His miracle of exorcism, Luke 11:15-16.
- Jesus detailed the spiritual darkness of His generation that violated logic in rejecting Him: (a) He refused to provide additional signs to the public as the public was evil, even violating logic, Lk. 11:29a. The one exception was the sign of the prophe t Jonah, the sign of being entombed for three days before His return to the land of the living, a reference to His death and resurrection, Luke 11:29b with Mtt. 12:39-40. (b) Jesus then declared that the Old Testament Gentiles who believed God's prophets w ould condemn Christ's unbelieving, illogical generation, Lk. 11:31, 32.
- Finally, Jesus warned His followers to watch how they perceived things, signified in the "light of the body as the eye", v. 33. Failure to perceive logically leads to spiritual darkness where perceiving with a logical viewpoint would lead to reading God's evidences and gaining the truth, Lk. 11:34-36.